More than 100 retired U.S. Army Rangers signed a letter sent to Congressional leaders to “strenuously object to the defacement and desecration of the National Ranger Memorial.”
That’s how those veterans describe the decision to remove from the memorial the names of Rangers associated with the Confederacy.
The May 23 letter the National Ranger Memorial Foundation sent to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, doesn’t mention the names targeted for removal.
But an April 28 letter retired Brig. Gen. Joseph Stringham, the foundation’s chairman, sent to fellow Rangers says Col. Colin Mahle, garrison commander of Fort Moore (formerly Fort Benning) directed the foundation to remove four names from the thousands on the memorial and the pavers leading to it:
— Confederate Col. John S. Mosby
— William Quantrill
— George Bowman
— Jackson Bowman.
The directive is based on the September 2022 final report the U.S. Department of Defense Naming Commission sent to Congress, which recommended removing names associated with the Confederacy from U.S. military assets.
Last month’s change of Fort Benning’s name to Fort Moore is part of that process.
In its report, the commission recommended the Army remove Mosby’s name from display on the memorial and in the Ranger Hall of Honor at the National Infantry Museum. The commission also recommended the Army remove the names of Quantrill and the two Bowmans from pavers on the walkway leading to the memorial.
The memorial, established in 1992, was constructed and is maintained solely by private donations, according to the foundation.
“In attempting to address the abominable treatment of our citizens of African descent,” the foundation’s letter says, “Fort Moore leadership has unfortunately taken a one-size-fits-all approach, which is itself abominable treatment of other citizen groups.”
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